Former president Nicos Anastasiades, who has denied accusations that he unlawfully interfered in a soccer match-fixing probe, engaged in a back-and-forth with his accuser after he dropped the bombshell firsthand account allegations during a public podcast.

Listeners to the LegalMatters podcast, an interview talk show on current affairs, were stunned on Wednesday when the former chairman of the Committee of Ethics and Safeguarding in Sports, Andreas Papacharalambous, said Anastasiades called him up and asked him to stop an investigation into a soccer match-fixing case.

Papacharalambous told LegalMatters, a program run by local lawyer and influencer Christophoros Christophi, that he had received a phone call from the former president himself.

“He called me up about a probe into an Apollon-Karmiotissa match, asking me not to investigative it,” Papacharalambous said.

The podcast guest, who resigned his post in February 2021 citing lack of political support, went on to explain that all matches between the two teams were friendly games but a lot of betting activity involved had prompted him to call for a probe in all matches “one by one.”

“They stormed at [Anastasiades] and so he called me up pretending it was for something else and told me ‘drop these things, find something else to go after, there are so many, these are friendly matches’,” Papacharalambous recounted.

Anastasiades issued a statement on Thursday denying what he called “utter false and delayed allegations,” saying Papacharalambous had poor relations with fellow board members and “ought to have resigned as a matter of principle if such things were true.”

Papacharalambous fought back saying he was pleased with his professional choices and “even more pleased for failing to achieve, unlike Nicos Anastasiades, in areas of immorality, deception, entanglement, and corruption.”

“I’m not missing anything Nicos Anastasiades, I can answer to all of it. I will be back as soon as accusations of corruption and dirty entanglements are investigated against you,” Papacharalambous said.

The CESS ex-chairman then concluded with an ancient proverb that warned “Nicos, the more you stir it the worse it stinks.”

But that was not the last word, as Anastasiades hit back with a different ancient expression.

The former president said he was saddened that Papacharalambous had “resorted to repeating malicious claims that will be investigated by an independent corruption commission,” while adding that “unscrupulousness has no bounds.”

Anastasiades also took issue with Papacharalambous’ ancient proverb, saying the ex-chairman had used the same expression when he used to be at the helm of the ethics committee.

“Man has no greater enemy than himself,” Anastasiades concluded. [Kathimerini Cyprus]

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